Bielsa had Chile training ground row

Marcelo Bielsa's spat with a construction company last week is not the first time he has been caught up in a similar disagreement.

The Athletic Bilbao boss was involved in a heated exchange of words and a physical confrontation with the site manager at his current club’s Lezama training ground last week, maintaining that modification work should have been completed on July 2 and accusing the company of acting in its own interests rather than Athletic’s.

However, when the 56-year-old was head Coach of the Chilean national team in 2007 he also had a tense relationship with the person responsible for the refurbishment of their training facility, who says Bielsa refused to acknowledge him and even stopped speaking to him.

Victor Perez Echeverria told El Mercurio of the treatment he received from the Argentine, a situation that forced him to leave his job four months after Bielsa had taken over, and said he was not surprised at the incident in Bilbao.

“Marcelo is a person who gets involved in everything and invades the field of other professionals, so we had a lot of problems,” maintained the electrical engineer, who explained that in August 2007 he had been working for more than six months on the remodelling of the Juan Pinto Duran complex, where Chile did their training.

“He stopped greeting me after 90 days and I had to speak to him through an intermediary, who was somebody from his medical staff.

“He wanted to meddle in the renovation work and made many changes, to which I was opposed, but he didn’t grab my arm or push me because I didn’t give him room to do it.

“Bielsa is very obsessive and demonstrative and can even become rude and obnoxious when things are not done to his satisfaction, but the main issue is that he likes to surround himself with people who say yes to everything,” he added.

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